Thursday, October 21, 2004

Insurgent Inquiry: The Art of Allora & Calzadilla

"Insurgent Inquiry: The art of Allora & Calzadilla"
Paul Schmelzer

Break the word question down to its root--quest--and you get a sense of the insurgent inquiry practiced by artists Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla. Their poetic and unabashedly activist conceptual art challenges everything from common definitions--they define protest as “proactive testing” and responsibility as “the ability to respond”--to concepts like free speech and historical commemoration. Confronting the assumptions behind everyday terms arises from a state of permanent questioning, says Calzadilla. "We believe that art has much to offer to this task, in its potential to provoke the public into a space of individual questioning about preconceived notions of truth, about forms of representation, participation, and identification."

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